Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Recent Videos

We have caught some good memories on video this week.

An impressive performance by the girls in the back of the van on the way to Dubuque:

Naomi's first experience with her new toaster:

Isaiah and Naomi wake up the girls on Christmas morning:

Isaiah's Christmas Eve performance:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Unofficial announcements have already been made in various circles. This makes it official.
We have submitted an application to the Holt international adoption agency for an opportunity to adopt a baby from China.
We're aready deep into the process of qualifying ourselves to be fit parents. Holt is an excellent agency, and they're very careful how they screen applicants. We estimate that it will be at least 12 months before the process is complete.
God has already blessed us with two beautiful children in Isaiah and Naomi. Since Naomi was given to us, we have felt the prompting to expand our family in a different way, looking to add to our family a child who doesn't already have a family.


There is a Scovill Creek sirloin tip roast in the crock pot, complete with herb rub. If I had a time machine, I'd rush forward about 6 hours. Can't wait.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone once again. This is my (Micah's) first post since exactly one year ago.
Isaiah performed in the Christmas Eve service at Hope Church this evening. It was a mediocre performance on his part. Most of the time, he was looking at his classmates, seeking clues for what gestures should be made next while they navigated the lyrics to Away in a Manger.
However, I was listening to those lyrics. One of the stanzas in that song is:
The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes
Jamie mentioned to me after we got home that no one has any way to know whether Jesus cried or not. The author of Away in a Manger took some fairly liberal artistic license when he assumed that the Lord Jesus wouldn't have cried if and when the cattle woke him up.
You know what though? My bet is that he DID cry. Know why I say that? Because he was a baby . . . . and I've found that babies cry. They also vomit, shiver, flop their heads around, and feed from thier mothers' breast. I have to assume that Jesus did all of those things, because he was a baby -- a human being. The same God who created the universe with a breath had become a baby. A helpless, crying, vomiting, shivering, limp-necked baby. But also God. Ever think about that?
Why did it have happen this way? I'm not sure I'm qualified to say. But for reasons that I'm sure make perfect sense, God knew that something had to be done. He knew that the human race was helplessly broken. The mankind that he had created in his image had rejected him, chosen their own path, followed other gods, and had even attempted to become God in his place. Because of who God is, this was unacceptable. Someone had to pay a price for this. It was either us . . . . . . or it would be him.
Because that God who breathed the universe into existence is also a loving, graceful God, he apparently decided that it would be him. He would pay the price. He would make the sacrifice. And the redemption plan was launched when Jesus was born.
Tomorrow, we celebrate once again this plan having been launched. He really took on the form of humanity in order to set in motion the rescue plan required. All of these Christmas carols refer to an event to which I may have become mostly immune. But on nights like these, it's helpful to remember how dramatic a story it really is.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Hopefully, you'll thank God with me for the plan he had to rescue us -- in the person of Jesus Christ.

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

Today we made a gingerbread Christmas tree. The kids loved it. Micah did too. He supervised the event.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Making Cookies

Posted by PicasaThese are my favorite holiday cookie. Tessie and Rexhina helped us make them today. Mom made them for me every year when I was a kid. Thanks, Mom! Yum!

The Barhams Visit

Dad and kim came for a visit earlier this month. We had a fun time. They even got snowed in and had to stay an extra day. I think that they will limit vistiting to warmer seasons in the future.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Naomi's Dedication

Today we had a dedication at church for Naomi. The first picture is of us with our small group.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Naomi's New Hair

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Gift For Mr. and Mrs. Tran

Here is a short video from Tessie's birthday. We wanted Mr. and Mrs. Tran to see what the party was like.

Happy Birthday Tessie!!

Tessie turned 17 yesterday and we had a party for her. She invited 15 friends over, 13 of whom were exchange students from her school. I think that they had a great time. I had to make them all go home at 11:30 so that the "old folks" could go to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Isaiah The Chef

Isaiah loves to cook. GG and Papa gave him this chef costume for his birthday and here he is wearing it to help me cook. We are getting ready for Tessie's birthday around here. Today she will have 13 friends over, mostly exchange students, for dinner, snacks, games, and hanging out. I am sure that there will be pictures and stories to follow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hearts At Home

This weekend I went away with some girls to a Hearts At Home Conference. "Hearts At Home is a Christ-centered organization which encourages, educates, and equips women in the profession of motherhood." (From their website.) My friend Liza and I went from Dubuque and met up with some friends from the Cedar Falls area to go to Rochester, MN. We ate out, shopped at Goodwill for a lengthy amount of time, and enjoyed great conversation and teaching. When I got home Isaiah was still wearing the clothes that I put him in on Friday and Naomi's hair was a mess! Micah said he realized that he does not know how to "work with Naomi's hair". I am so thankful for a husband who is willing to take over my duties so that I can grow in God's word and visit with friends. I was excited to return home to my precious family and I am already looking forward to being with those gals again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's Going On

Isaiah and Naomi have not selpt well lately. I took Naomi's pacifier away last week and since then she has not had one normal nap and has been getting up very early for the day. Isaiah just does not seem to be tired at night so he messes around in his room and comes into the hall and plays until he just passes out. This is where he ended up last night. Stricter rules will be enforced tonight!The weather has been beautiful. We walked to the park yesterday and today played in the yard. Yes, Isaiah went outside without pants on. He did think to put his shoes on though.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chopsticks Night

We took Tessie to the Asian Food store after school yesterday and she had so much fun. The lady who runs it is from Vietnam and they chatted forever in Vietnamese. Tessie bought all kinds of food and shared some with us for dinner. Shrimp chips, Vietnamese noodles, and tamarind candy were among the sampled foods. She got us some chopsticks and we all tried to eat our dinner with them. We had some pasta salad that I thought would lend itself to being picked up pretty easily. We also had sandwiches. Isaiah wanted to eat ALL of his food with the chopsticks so in addition to eating the pasta he stabbed his sandwich with them as well and thought himself very cleaver as a result. Aren't hey cute?? We have a fun family.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

FIREPROOF Teaser Trailer

This is a powerful film. I urge all of you to find out where it is playing and go see it. It is well worth your time and money.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Weekend Album

Isaiah's Birthday Weekend

[these are not configured to be ordered for prints]

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Isaiah's 4th birthday dinner

Isaiah will be 4 on Monday, and he had a chance to celebrate with GG and Papa John in town.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Art By Isaiah

Isaiah drew this picture of Jesus. I really liked it and wanted to share it with you.

The Steele's

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Girls

Rexhina and Tessie are having a great time. They have quickly endeared themselves to us and we love having them here. In the past month they have been doing more things with friends from Tri-State. They had friends over to spend the night, went to the volleybal and soccer tournament at school, and went to a bonfire at a friends house. This past weekend they explored downtown Dubuque. Here they are at a local pizza place.

The Pumpkin Patch

We went to a local pumpkin patch with our MOPS group and had a great time. Here are some of the kids from our small group that we managed to wrangle for a picture. They are Isaiah, Kaelyn, James, Paisley, Clara, and Naomi.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Arboretum

Posted by PicasaIn an attempt at passing the day on Sunday, which was Micah's first day gone- boo hoo, (I know I sound like a weenie but I am head over heels for that guy) the kids and I went to the Arboretum. Here are some pics of our blessings.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dubuque Arboretum

Last Soccer Game

This is Isaiah's soccer team. Aren't they cute??

Lazy Days at Home

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Naomi Chronicles

Naomi turned the tables this week, insisting that SHE read the book to Jamie, rather than the other way around.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random Happenings

Yesterday Isaiah plopped down his pillow, blanket, and favorite stuffed animals on the kitchen floor to hang out. We had made cookies and here he is eating them with a big chocolate smile.
There was a tree in our yard very much in danger of falling on our house so the tree guys took it out today. It was majorly entertaining for Isaiah. He marveled at all of the equipment, especially the John Deere tractor that you see parked on our street.
Tonight I asked Naomi if I could read her some books and she insisted on reading them to me. Here she is telling me the story.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

St. Louis

These are some pics from St. Louis. Regretfully I have no pictures of Joel, Miriam, and Cora. We only took pics at the game (did not sit with Joel and Micah) and at the arch ( Joel's family did not attend). Anyway, we had a great time hanging out with everyone and our children are really missing each other this week. They played great together.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We tookthe kids over to the softball field at the high school this weekend because Isaiah has been so into baseball lately. Here are some pics I snapped.

The girls will probably not like that I put this picture on the blog but I thought it was a cute picture of us eating dinner. Our dinner table is full!

Last but certainly not least, this picture is of a paper that Isaiah wrote his name on. It was his first attempt at name writing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fun Saturday

Isaiah had his third soccer game today and he did great. He played most of the game and got really tired. Several times toward the end I caught him standing around picking his nose. I snapped a picture but Micah would not let me put it on the blog. This one is of his team minus Brooke who does not really want to play most of the time.

After soccer and lunch I took the kids to the Swiss Valley Nature Preserve and we hiked around. The weather was perfect and the kids had a great time.